A Moray campaigner who went blue in the face to support his cause has more than doubled his fundraising target to support fellow sufferers.
Michael Laycock, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease more than nine years ago, had intended to grow his hair and beard to provide an authentic Santa experience for his grandchildren.
However, after initially intending to get dye to turn the growth white, the 75-year-old instead opted to go blue to support MND Scotland.
Now the former Forres businessman, who stays at the town’s Cathay Nursing Home, has shaved off the temporary hair and beard.
Carer Toni Cameron took the clippers to the head of the pensioner, who had been sporting the blue additions for more than a month, while family watched – including his three grandchildren who were visiting from the USA.
Yesterday his wife Vivian, who lives in Nairn, revealed she had insisted on all the hair hitting the ground.
She said: “He hadn’t had a beard since before he met me, so that’s a long time ago going back to the 1970s.
“They asked if he wanted some left on but I thought it was better for a complete clean shave – it’ll last longer that way.
Mrs Laycock hopes the fundraiser will raise awareness of the disease to others.
She added: “It’s a big thing to expect people to dig into their pockets, especially at Christmas. I really hope it can help fund research to find a cure.
“With a disease like MND it’s really important to raise awareness of it to attract extra support because it doesn’t have as big a profile as others.
“It’s even more difficult because the people with the disease and their families don’t have the energy to do it either.”
In the run-up to the big shave, the MND patient, who now has to use a computer to communicate, was dubbed “blue beard” by the carers who look after him.
Mr Laycock’s daughter, Hannah, added: “It was quite amazing. Nobody had ever seen him with a beard before this, it was like he was going back to his bachelor days.”